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Baseball

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A baseballer in mid-swing.

Like its distant Anglican cousin Cricket, Baseball is absolutely impossible to understand for anybody who did not grow up with it. For example, to get a 'batter' (the person swinging the bat) 'out' (give up his turn), the opposition must do one of the following: 'strike' him out, 'catch' him out, or 'tag' him out. To do the first, the 'pitcher' (the guy throwing the ball) must pitch the ball over the 'plate' (also known as 'home base'), between the batter's shoulders and knees, without the batter hitting the ball into play. If the batter swings and misses, it is a strike (three strikes and you're out). If the batter doesn't swing, it is called a 'ball' (four 'balls' to 'walk,' or go to first base without having to hit the actual ball), unless the batter could have hit it, ie the ball was over the plate and between his shoulders and knees, in which case it is a strike. If the batter barely grazes the ball with the bat and fails to hit it into play, it is called a 'foul tip', and counts as a strike unless it would have been the third strike in which case it doesn't count as anything. If the batter hits the ball out of play it is called a 'foul' and counts the same as a 'foul tip,' unless someone on the other team catches it before it hits the ground, in which case the batter is 'out.'

All of which means nothing, unless the batter is your son, and his success as a person rests on his ability to bring his team home.


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